What Is Chest Physiotherapy and When Is It Needed?

What is Chest Physiotherapy

What is Chest PhysiotherapyBy: Himja Upadhyay, Registered Physiotherapist

Chest physiotherapy (CPT) is the treatment performed by physiotherapists and/or respiratory therapists whereby breathing is improved by helping to remove mucous from the lungs.

When there is too much or too thick mucus, it blocks the air from moving in and out of the lungs. As a result, mucus makes breathing harder. Mucus that sits too long in the lungs can also grow germs which can lead to many other problems.

CPT helps to loosen the mucus, so that it can be coughed out. Thus, CPT can help you breathe better.

Indications for Chest Physiotherapy

It is needed for patients in whom cough is insufficient to clear secretions.

Examples include:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Atelectasis
  • Lung abscess
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Pneumonias in dependent lung regions
  • Chest secretions or congestion
  • COPD (Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis, etc.)

Techniques in Chest Physiotherapy

There are different procedures which can be used for CPT, including:

  • Postural drainage
  • Percussion
  • Vibrations
  • Chest mobility exercises
  • Breathing exercises
  • Resistance training for respiratory muscles
  • Active exercise program
  • And more

The common procedures used are postural drainage and chest percussion, in which the client is rotated to facilitate drainage of secretions from a specific lobe or segment while being clapped with cupped hands. This loosens and mobilizes retained secretions that can then be expectorated or drained.

Benefits of Chest Physiotherapy

  • Improves the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide
  • Improves functional capacity of cardiac and respiratory health
  • Increases the clearance of lung secretions
  • Teaches effective breathing patterns which would reduce stress and anxiety
  • Prepares an activity program to improve overall fitness level and lung efficiency
  • Teaches self-management to minimize hospital admissions and acute infections
  • Teaches techniques to manage shortness of breath

>> If you want to know more about Chest Physiotherapy or would like to book an appointment, please contact our clinic on 905 456 8196.

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